Roulette was first played in
France back in the 17th century. It is now one of the most
popular European gambling games and Monte Carlo in Monaco
is a well known and famous casino center for playing roulette.
Players, usually up to eight, play against the house represented
by the croupier also called the dealer, who spins the
roulette wheel and handles the wagers and payouts. In the
European roulette and French roulette version, the wheel has 37
slots representing 36 numbers and one zero. In the USA most
roulette wheels have two zeros and therefore 38 slots.
Each player buys-in a different
colored chips so their bets don't get mixed up. At the
end of play, if you won, you exchange back the colored chips
with cash chips. These are special chips with the value
amount imprinted on them. There are several denominations in
various colors. You then take these chips to the cash desk where
they will give you actual cash money in exchange.
To play roulette, you place
your bet or bets on numbers (any number including the zero) in
the table layout or on the outside, and when everybody at the
table had a chance to place their bets, the croupier
starts the spin and launches the ball. Just a few moments before
the ball is about to drop over the slots, the croupier says 'no
more bets'. From that moment no one is allowed to place - or
change - their bets until the ball drops on a slot. Only
after the croupier places the dolly on the winning number
on the roulette table and clears all the losing bets you can
then start placing your new bets while the croupier pays the
winners. The winners are those bets that are on or around the
number that comes up. Also the bets on the outside of the layout
win if the winning number is represented.
The house advantage
On a single zero roulette table the house advantage is 2.7%. On
a double zero roulette table it is 5.26% (7.9% on the
five-number bet, 0-00-1-2-3). The house advantage is gained by
paying the winners a chip or two (or a proportion of it) less
than what it should have been if there was no advantage. (See
Roulette Quiz - The Casino Advantage.)
The 'En Prison' rule
A roulette rule applied to even-money bets only, and by some
casinos (not all). When the outcome is zero, some casinos will
allow the player to either take back half his/her bet or leave
the bet (en prison = in prison) for another roulette spin. In
the second case, if the following spin the outcome is again
zero, then the whole bet is lost.
The 'La Partage' rule
The la partage roulette rule is similar to the en prison rule,
only in this case the player loses half the bet and does not
have the option of leaving the bet en prison for another spin.
This refers to the 'outside' even-money bets Red/Black,
High/Low, Odd/Even and applies when the outcome is zero. Both
the La Partage and the En Prison roulette rules essentially cut
the casino edge on the 'even-money bets' in half. So a bet on
Red on a single-zero roulette table with the la partage rule or
the en prison rule has a 1.35% house edge and one on a
double-zero roulette table has a house edge of 2.63%.
A bet on one number only, called a straight-up bet, pays 35 to
1. (You collect 36. With no house advantage you should collect
37 (38 in the USA on double zero roulette wheels).
A two-number bet, called split bet, pays 17 to 1.
A three-number bet, called street bet, pays 11 to 1.
A four-number bet, called corner bet, pays 8 to 1.
A six-number bet, pays 5 to 1.
A bet on the outside dozen or column, pays 2 to 1.
A bet on the outside even money bets, pays 1 to 1.
Object of the game
To win at roulette the player needs to predict where the ball
will land after each spin. This is by no means easy. In fact,
luck plays an important part in this game. Some players go with
the winning numbers calling them 'hot' numbers and therefore
likely to come up more times. Others see which numbers did not
come up for some time and bet on them believing that their turn
is now due. Some players bet on many numbers to increase their
chances of winning at every spin, but this way the payout is
considerably reduced. Other methodical players use specific
roulette systems or methods, money management systems, or
French roulette rules
The French roulette rules are
very much like the European roulette rules. It has the same 37
numbered wheel with one zero but a different table layout for
the outside bets. See
Table layout (Link opens new window).
The player odds in French
roulette are the same as in European roulette (only one zero)
and better than the odds in American roulette (two zeros). The
players loose only 50% of their even-money bets when the outcome
is zero, known as the 'La Partage' rule.
The object of the game is still
the same - to predict which number out of possible 37 the ball
will land on. And of course, they speak French. Below are the
English and equivalent French terms for the various roulette
- One number Straight up = En plein
- Two numbers Split Bet = Cheval
- Three numbers Street Bet = Transversale
- Four numbers Corner = Carre
- Six numbers Line Bet = Sixainne
- Twelve numbers Column = Colonne
- Twelve numbers Dozen = Douzaine
- Red or Black = Rouge, Noir
- Even or Odd = Pair, Impair
- Low or High numbers = Manque, Passe